In this vlog, Mr. Andrew Leroy Rudder discusses Rule 6 of R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 194: Rules of Civil Procedure (under Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43), which allows the court to consolidate, or join, multiple legal actions, or order that they be heard at the same time, or immediately after the other.

Mr. Rudder discusses a motion in a recent 2020 case entitled Paterson v. Stewart Title Guaranty Company, 2020 ONSC 4609 (CanLII), where the preliminary issue was “which linkage option the court should favour: consolidation or hearing together?” Mr. Rudder delves into this decision, which provides guidance as to what factors the court might consider when faced with a debate about whether to consolidate proceedings, or to order them together.

Mr. Rudder also discusses the case entitled 1014864 Ontario Ltd. v. 1721789 Ontario Inc., 2010 ONSC 3306 (CanLII), which covers some of the applicable factors considered by a court in deciding whether or not it should grant an order to either consolidate legal actions or have them heard together.

Lastly, Mr. Rudder discusses the case entitled Da Costa v. TD Home and Auto Insurance Company, 2014 ONSC 6066 (CanLII), which covers the factors that a court will consider while weighing efficiencies and the fairness of granting an order to either consolidate legal actions or have them heard together.

Mr. Rudder will ultimately shows that when what’s at issue in a Rule 6 motion is which linkage option the court should favour:  consolidation or hearing together, the court’s task is to weigh and balance the costs and benefits of each the three mechanisms: consolidation, hearing together or hearing consecutively. However, Mr. Rudder reminds us that these three mechanisms are merely three different tools available, at the court’s discretion, to achieve the goals of efficiency, expediency and cost effectiveness, as well as avoiding a multiplicity of proceedings, but none of the three individual mechanisms are inherently better or worse than the other two mechanisms.  Whichever one best serves the aspirations of Rule 6 in the given prevailing circumstances and unique facts of the case, is to be favoured.